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East Tilbury Interview

I enjoyed one of my regular visits back to East Tilbury this week, catching up with Bata-ville friends at the Bata Resource and Reminiscence Centre. These are always busy events and this Wednesday they had 300 visitors! One of these was Michael Casey who has bravely set out to start a new kind of news site for the area focussed on local views. It's called YourThurrock and links to all of the clips he makes on YouTube ... you can see the quick interview he did with me about the film here.

I've also added some new images to our Bata group on Flickr, it's now got some good shots from Bata communities all over the world.

The BR&RC team ...
Photo: Nina Pope

Meanwhile in East Tilbury ...

Big congratulations are due to the fantastic team from the Bata Resource & Reminiscence Centre on their successful fund-raising and new refurbishment. It was great to see everyone again at the launch!

For those with a 'Bata' interest you might want to take a look at my group on Flickr for Bata pics. there are now some interesting ones from all over the world. People still send Karen and I pictures of Bata shops spotted on their travels, and this is a good place to keep them.

We have a group for Zlin too.

Bata Avenue Autumn 2007
Photo: Nina Pope

I can't stop myself ...
Bata shop Rouen spotted on holiday

Bata-ville news ...

This Saturday I'm heading off to Reading with "Uncle Mike" for a Bata-ville outing as part of Searching for the Spectactor: Art for New Publics A One-Day Symposium organised by Artists in the City, and the Department of Fine Art at the University of Reading.

Meanwhile it's all go at the Bata Resource & Reminiscence Centre ...

"The Bata Reminiscence and Resource Centre, based in East Tilbury Library, Essex, has recently made a successful bid to EEDA (The East of England Development Agency) and received a grant to enable a major refurbishment of the Centre and Library which will provide extra space for displays and exhibitions. Since it’s opening in 2002 the Bata Reminiscence and Resource Centre has been so successful collecting hundreds of photographs and many items of memorabilia that it has become impossible to entertain interested groups in the limited space that remained.

The financial assistance from EEDA will provide the resources to enable a complete refurbishment of the building which will allow the Centre more space to display items as well as entertain groups for lectures and discussions. The library will also benefit by being redesigned and being able to introduce more modern areas to work and research.

During the refurbishment the centre will only be closed for a short while, we intend to minimise the disruption to our work and that of the library.

Work should be completed by the middle of October 2007."

We can't wait to visit - in the meantime you can find lots of new materials on their great website, or see the article written about East Tilbury on Radio Praha.

Tomas Bata & family
Just one of the great images from the Reminiscence Centre

Reminisce & be thrilled ...

There's two events coming up this week with 'Somewhere connections' that you might be interested in:

Wednesday (25th October) is the Open Day, at the Bata Reminiscence and Resource Centre. It will be open from 11a.m. until 4p.m. all welcome.

If you've seen Bata-ville and would like to take a closer look at East Tilbury & meet the stars of the film this is your chance! I plan to go along for a catch up with their plans for a new building and expansion of the archive.

Then on Tuesday & Wednesday this week (24th/25th) Tim Olden (who writes all the music for Somewhere productions) is 'Horror DJ' at Brendan Walker's two Thrill Laboratory evenings at the Science Museum. Book now to avoid disappointment ... a spooky night out with fish & chips, heart rate monitors and a ghost train thrown in ...

Lovely Zlín - the view from the House of Art 2006
Photo: Nina Pope

Zlin Film Festival Photos ...

Ordinarily I'd pop these onto the Somewhere site but extreme Tudor preparation prevents me, but for any Bata-ville passengers out their you might like to visit my new Zlín slide show on Flickr ...

You'll see that the 21st building (formerly the Bata Head Quarters) has been finished off in a rather spectacular fashion complete with the re-vamped office/lift and roof-top cafe. Generally to see the way that some of these fantastic buildings have been bought back to life since we visited has really made me think again about what might happen next in East Tilbury.

Next week we're screening the film at Allies and Morrison one of the architects potentially bidding for a slice of the East Tilbury regeneration pie - I will be fascinated to see what they are proposing for the place, and who comes to see the film there. To co-incide with this I hope that Steve Rose is writing a piece in the Guardian about East Tilbury too ... on the phone it sounds as though (like me) he's become slightly obsessed with the place!

A postcard from Zlin apparently from the communist era
as it's overprinted with the name Gottwaldov c/o Felix Ormerod

All for Charity ...

I'm not sure I need to plug it here as Mike is already doing a great job of selling tickets, but there's a Thurrock screening of Bata-ville coming up:

Thameside Theatre,Grays, Thurrock Essex
Monday the 10th of April 2006 at 7.45pm
Tickets £3 (concessions £2) Box Office 01375 383961
This is a charity screening presented by Thurrock Heritage Forum in support of
Bata Reminiscence & Resource Centre
Free tickets for any Bata-ville passengers attending!

In addition Karen's also hosting a charity northern screening this week with
Oxen Park Cinema Club.

Bata related items including a fantastic 3D viewer
c/o Felix Ormerod

Terror Hound of Bata-ville

Back home and back to Bata-ville (as the Thurrock Gazette is now apparently calling East Tilbury, in last week's headline "Terror Hound of Bata-ville"). Last Saturday was the Bata Resource and Reminiscence Centre open day where I joined Bata-ville old comrades (as 'uncle' Mike Ostler calls them) for a get together.

As usual Fred had lots of new material to show me, but not as much as our new Bata-ville friend Felix (as mentioned in the previous open day entry) the collection pictured opposite is a fraction of the items acquired since we last saw him (!) The viewmaster 3D images of Zlin were particularly good.

There was also a stall in the library run by Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation, which was very interesting. Not least as they confrimed that no actual plans have been passed for East Tilbury as yet and any that one sees or hears about are in effect just proposed bids from different developers. The final detailed master plan for East Tilbury is yet to actually be drawn up.